G'day punters, casino and media millionaires and billionaires, those who aspire to be, journalists, politicians and one and all. Australian and Asia Pacific gambling and lifestyle king, James Packer, is on top of the world at the moment and riding a wave of a momentum, following his "share raid of the decade" on Network Ten. Australian Communications Minister Sen Stephen Conroy has named packer's move "Very Clever", and Conroy appears to be on the money this time around according to a vast array of commentators both nationally and internationally. Media Man and Gambling911 can now reveal some of the big picture elements of the Network Ten deal, which point to an interactive media plan which sure looks to include online gambling and gaming, which will compliment his already strong Betfair online offering. The Ten connection by all accounts in the missing link that will give Packer the upper hand in media, new media, online gaming, politics and beyond. Read on for our latest "very clever" report...
Australian gambling and lifestyle 'king of the castle', James Packer, is now seen as a top ten global media baron, thanks to his latest Network Ten moves, including his now famous share raid, which in turn provided much needed confidence in the Australian and international news media - television industry.
In addition, since Packer's raid on Ten, both Network Ten and Crown Limited shares have continued on an upward trend, only now just starting to settle.
Media Man business analysts have been monitoring the situation closely, and one is now prepared to go on record with Gambling911 with the following "James Packer has pulled a genius master stoke with his share raid on Network Ten, and his associated follow up maneuvers. There's numerous benefits Packer and his camp. Snatching quality stock at a bargain price, building media power, political clout, and we strongly believe he's now in an ideal position to leap into national and international online casino and online gambling business ventures, which will tie into television, b2b deals and more. It shouldn't be much longer that Betfair will be only basically offering sports betting gambling. Be watching out for online casino games, political betting, even interactive games linked to TV channels like Network Ten and One. Packer appears to have borrowed a few tried and tested tricks from Rupert Murdoch who have done a solid job in controlling much of Australia's and the western worlds news media interests, mainly in print, TV and film, but also interactive gambling which is huge in the UK and other parts of Europe. Expect Packer to move quickly to offer the full suit of online gambling excitement, first in Australian, then UK most likely, followed by Macau... which his land based casinos also perform strongly. Make now mistake, right now is a historic time for Packer... the man so many were ready to write off only a few years ago. Now many insiders believe that the late Kerry Packer would be enormously proud of how James is performing in gambling, media, and even his work - life balance. For the foreseeable future expect for Crown Limited and Network Ten to leap from strenght to strenght, and if you are looking to grab some shares in either or both companies, do it very soon, before they jump either further. Packer is leading the Australian news media business as we head towards 2010."
Network Ten, Nine and Foxtel sources have been leaking some information to MM, and all agree that Packer is on fire at the moment, and are impressed that even Senator Stephen Conroy was prepared to go on record that Packer made a "very clever move".
Packer is currently Australia's 3rd richest man, much the way he's going he may soon be #1.
James Packer is fighting control of Ten Network, but will he get it? Most expects think Yes.
As a famous Media Man once said, "He who owns the press, runs the press". And, the same can be said for Packer's other big business passion - Gambling.
Gambling has been a virtual goldmine for JP. He has a cunning monopoly on casinos in Australia's Melbourne and Perth, and more casinos in downtown Macau, plus more gambling investments in UK... the Aspers connection and the like.
Packer may soon become even more powerful than his late father, Kerry. Sen Stephen Conroy has not commented on Packer's power, only making the "clever" reference.
The television network / s on Packer's radar / agenda will help him offer the ultimate in online and interactive gambling, at least in Australia for a start.
Online gambling, betting and all the rest of the adds ons are a punters dream (or nightmare), depending upon who you ask. Wives, lock up your husbands... just kidding, we think. And you thought the cricket and footy betting odds were too much... just wait for what's in store. You ain't seen nothing yet.
Packer, friends and associates will want to see the Australian and international footy and cricket corruption cleaned up, so as to not be a negative distraction from the master plan.
Politicians need to watch out for the powerhouse Packer. They will become friends or bitten enemies by the look of it, sort of like the GW Bush "You're either with us, or against us"!
A Media Man insider whispered..."Don't worry JP and DG, we're with you. A very happy shareholder we are, and we're upfront about it, not like some in the Australian news media business who are not upfront to say the least."
Packer is set to become the king of media moguls in Australian history, and watch out anyone that dare take him on, Prime Mister, Greens Party hotshots, or otherwise. Would "real life Underbelly" come into effect if need by to see Packer's dreams come true? Ok, forget that for a bit, but take a wild guess if you dare, and then remind yourself of who was JP's dad, and you'll soon enough get the idea.
Could the past 'Murdoch Amendments' in Australian broadcasting law be a clue as to if 'Packer Amendments' may be just around the corner.
A bit of history. Broadcasting in Australia was deregulated in 1992 by the Bob Hawke government and this upset some who jumped up and down about broadcasters' commercial interests VS the public interest.
Packer is looking to boost profits, cut costs, and boost his media and gambling empire. Will he be prepared to see the quality of journalism suffer to help his bottom line? Only time will tell, but entertainment, gambling and sports content and programming seem to be higher on his overall priorities, than winning news coverage awards at this point.
JP is looking to wrestle control of Network Ten and keep growing the gambling - casino, poker and sports betting et al arms of his empire. His gambling arm downunder is understood to bring 'The King' about $4 billion per year. That's power in most folks black book.
In Packer's defense, his has been more than pulling his weight in social endeavors, be it with poker tournament fundraisers, the 'Packer Wacker' ambo support, Victor Chang and friends happenings, Shane Warne Foundation, Salvation Army matters and more.
Having said that, Packer is yet to release the final plan, goals and the like of his Packer Foundation, and it might serve him well to give clarity on the matter.
Erica Packer aka Erica Baxter has also been doing more than her fair share with a number of worthy causes, including everyone's favorite, National Breast Cancer Foundation, but also some lesser known worthy causes on the quite, just as Media Man does from time to time.
Anon sources in both camps both pointed out words to the effect of "The better the businesses perform, the more we can support good causes".
Philanthropy Australia estimates that there are more than 2000 foundations in Australia, giving between $500 million and $1 billion a year.
Packer may be adding to his own wealth, whilst helping numerous causes, but at the same time don't dismiss his contribution to the Australian economy. Jobs, training, the tourism and lifestyle sector, more technology jobs on the way, and so it goes on. Without "whales" like Packer, the economy would further slow, and jobs would be lost. If you need more convincing of Packer's great work, along with mates like Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest, just look up GenerationOne, where they have taken some "down and outters", and turned their lives around. Those close are known to call it the Twiggy - Packer magic, and it works for both social enterprise and commercial endeavors.
Media Man top brass also added "James Packer surprises a few folks with his move back into television, Mind you, he surprised a few with his massive bounce back in the casino and gaming sector in Australia and Macau also, as well as his solid exit strategy from the mayhem Las Vegas. Watch for Packer to also ramp up in the online area, with Betfair maintaining a strong position. More online casino game content to hit Betfairs, and I would be totally surprised to see the likes of a Packer do a deal with other leaders like PartyGaming or Richard Branson's Virgin. Packer is friendly with Tom Cruise, featured in a PartyGaming release, and has also been spotted and photographed with Richard Branson over the years, so nothing is impossible for JP - James Packer at this stage of the game. He appears to have the killer instinct and is virtually unstoppable. You really have to give the devil his due. At the same time he is main tainting his friendship with Network Nine boss David Gyngell, so good on his for taking care of the work - life balance, something many media and gaming tycoons struggle with. Packer is starting to turn into a living legend, and we are not talking that up. The record speaks for itself. For anyone that wants to try to step in Packer's way, its game on.!
Packer also has accelerated plans to offer Australian's a full online casino offering via his 50% owned Betfair, which have noted the success of other online gambling operators servicing down under such as Interestingly, PartyGaming's last year in a b2b type arrangement directed a number of their online poker players to Packer's poker tournament, Aussie Millions. Packer mate, Shane Warne, is also tipped to have a poker room and / or tourney named after him at Crown Casino, and its speculated other deals are on the radar with even some tipping Media Man, Casino News Media, Richard Branson - Virgin b2b and website portals in the mix. PartyGaming and NextGen Gaming are expected to also pitch to Packer and his team on the new media - internet front, and the brands 'Underbelly', 'Kerry Packer' and 'Casino Jack' keep coming up. First Packer is expect to get his Betfair to the next stage of offering a more comprehensive gambling offering, but at the same time the Packer camp is open to the right sort of b2b proposals.
A Media Man spokesperson said "James Packer's latest business plays have been brilliant. It's risk management, brand building, convergent media, relationship leveraging and more all in one. He's also buying entities at the right price, and has a global business model which helps ride out the world's financial storm, while also having an Australian - Asia Pacific focus, which is one of the strongest markets in the world at the moment, away from the chaos of sorts in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. From here on up it should be pretty smooth sailing for Packer and Billionaire Inc. Punters should likely expect some gambling or gaming reality TV shows, as Packer's passion for both having a punt and news media is pretty contagious. Packer is making exciting and smart business moves and has a world class team of advisers around him. He's also spending millions upgrading Crown and Burswood casinos, to help further cement them as the leaders, while Tabcorp tries to chase him with their Star City. Packer once again proves the knockers wrong, and we can't wait to get back down to Crown Casino to congratulate the Packer powers that be in person. From Bondi Beach to Palm Beach, Macau, Perth, the internet, to TV land - the world is his oyster. Watch this space".
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Readers... er, punters, do you agree with our assessment of the Packer plans re media linked to the internet, online gambling and political power across Australian, then the globe? Keep checking daily for updates. If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.
Crown Limited Share Price: $8.450
Network Ten Holdings Limited Price: $1.61
*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.
*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited
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